Kid in a Candy Store
January 4, 2011
For Joe Zanetos, working in the confectionery family business started at an early age. But the more he did it, the more he liked it. It continues to be his dream job.
Growing up in a family-owned candy company shaped the life of Joe Zanetos. His grandfather, Anthony, made candy all of his life and when his son, Tom, returned home from World War II, the two started the Anthony-Thomas Candy Co.
Joe Zanetos started going to work at 8 years old with his dad when he wasn’t in school, packing candy and washing pots and pans. He learned everything about the business from candy making to retail as he climbed up the ladder to various positions, becoming president in 1993.
“The more I did it, the more I like it,” says Zanetos. “And, when I graduated from high school I decided, ‘That’s what I want to do for the rest of my life’.”
Columbus, Ohio-based Anthony-Thomas Candy Co. has 14 retail stores. In addition to supplying those stores with chocolates, it also operates fund-raising, wholesaling and co-manufacturing divisions that specialize in boxed chocolates and chocolate bars. Peanut butter-chocolate buckeyes, English toffee, caramels and butter creams are some of the company’s most popular products.
Zanetos says working with family members can be difficult. To be successful family members have to learn to work together. “In our situation, everyone is doing what they do best,” he says.
For more information, visit anthony-thomas.com
What did you think you would be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a mechanical engineer like my uncle. I liked working on machines as a boy and I once built a go-cart.
Name one or some of your favorite movies.
"Casablanca” or any old western movie.
Describe your perfect dream vacation.
A beautiful island with a beautiful beach where I can golf or swim during the day and go to a casino at night.
What book are you currently reading?
finished John Kasich’s “Stand For Something.”
Aside from a family member, whom would you most want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
Someone who knows how to survive.
What's your pet peeve?
When people tell me they’re going to do something then they don’t.
I'd give anything to meet:
George Washington. I’d like to ask him what the framers really wanted for this country.
The best piece of advice that I've gotten:
Work hard and let common sense guide your decisions.
What excites you most about your job?
Are you kidding? I’m a kid in a candy store. I love getting up and going to work everyday. When people meet me in Columbus and I tell them I’m president of Anthony-Thomas, they always say: Wow. I’d sure like to have your job.